Giannis Tolios

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How Trump walked into Putin’s web

Moscow, summer 1991. Mikhail Gorbachev is in power. Official relations with the west have softened, but the KGB still assumes all western embassy workers are spooks. The KGB agents assigned to them are easy to spot. They have a method. Sometimes they pursue targets on foot, sometimes in cars. The …

Russia

How a half-educated tech elite delivered us into evil

If our supersmart tech leaders knew a bit more about history or philosophy we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now<p>One of the biggest puzzles about our current predicament with fake news and the weaponisation of social media is why the folks who built this technology are so taken aback by what has …

Computer Science

The desperate inequality behind global tax dodging

Nearly 10% of the world’s wealth is held offshore by a few individuals. The rest of us pay the price for this theft<p>Out of sight, a powerful industry has been developing since the 1980s in tax havens across the globe. By following the money, we can start to grasp the costs that these territories …

Tax Havens

Why we pretend to know things, explained by a cognitive scientist

New research explains why we pretend to know more than we do.<p>Why do people pretend to know things? Why does confidence so often scale with ignorance? Steven Sloman, a professor of cognitive science at Brown University, has some compelling answers to these questions.<p>“We're biased to preserve our …

Fake News

I will return Saudi Arabia to moderate Islam, says crown prince

Mohammed bin Salman tells the Guardian that ultra-conservative state has been ‘not normal’ for past 30 years<p>Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has vowed to return the country to “moderate Islam” and asked for global support to transform the hardline kingdom into an open society that …

Saudi Arabia

Elon Musk Was Bullied And Lonely As A Kid — Then He Found Computers And Business

But the truth is, being a kid can be really rough.<p>In part, this is because of other children. They can be awful to each other. Mean.<p>When I was a kid, the smart, creative kids who dared to dress differently or speak up were often picked on during PE, recess, or lunch.<p>My older brother was bullied so …

Tesla

America’s unique gun violence problem, explained in 17 maps and charts

In the developed world, these levels of gun violence are a uniquely American problem. Here’s why.<p>America is an exceptional country when it comes to guns. It’s one of the few countries in which the right to bear arms is constitutionally protected. But America’s relationship with guns is unique in …

Guns

Return of the city-state

Nation-states came late to history, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest they won’t make it to the end of the century<i>By Jamie Bartlett</i>Read at …

Smart Cities

The Bad Hair, Incorrect Feathering, and Missing Skin Flaps of Dinosaur Art

Inside the pitfalls of illustrating prehistoric creatures.<p>Illustrating long-extinct creatures is difficult, but important work. With no living …

Dinosaurs

The rise of robots: forget evil AI – the real risk is far more insidious

It’s far more likely that robots would inadvertently harm or frustrate humans while carrying out our orders than they would rise up against us<p>When we look at the rise of artificial intelligence, it’s easy to get carried away with dystopian visions of sentient machines that rebel against their human …

Artificial Intelligence

How Aristotle Created the Computer

The philosophers he influenced set the stage for the technological revolution that remade our world.<p>THE HISTORY Of computers is often told as a history of objects, from the abacus to the Babbage engine up through the code-breaking machines of World War II. In fact, it is better understood as a …

Mathematics

A psychologist explains the limits of human compassion

Why do we ignore mass atrocities? It has to do with something called “psychic numbing.”<p>There are now 65.3 million people displaced from their homes worldwide, the United Nations reports. It’s an all-time high: likely the largest population of refugees and asylum seekers in human history.<p>Think about …

Psychology
Universe

Elon Musk leads 116 experts calling for outright ban of killer robots

Open letter signed by Tesla chief and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman urges UN to block use of lethal autonomous weapons to prevent third age of war<p>Some of the world’s leading robotics and artificial intelligence pioneers are calling on the United Nations to ban the development and use of killer robots.<p>…

Artificial Intelligence

No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously

If we mean what we say, no more new fossil fuels, anywhere.<p>One of the morbidly fascinating aspects of climate change is how much cognitive dissonance it generates, in individuals and nations alike.<p>The more you understand the brutal logic of climate change — what it could mean, the effort necessary …

Climate

The Data That Turned the World Upside Down

How Cambridge Analytica used your Facebook data to help the Donald Trump campaign in the 2016 election.<p><i>This article was originally published January 28, 2017.</i><p><i>Update: March 17, 2018:</i> <i>Facebook lawyer Paul Grewal announced in a blog post Friday that the company has suspended Strategic Communication</i> …

Cambridge Analytica

A new brain study sheds light on why it can be so hard to change someone's political beliefs

Why we react to inconvenient truths as if they were personal insults.<p>Albert Einstein was one of the most important physicists of all time. His scientific predictions have withstood 100 years of scientific challenges. His thinking fundamentally changed the way we understand the universe. Yet people …

The Brain

So long, 2016: the year of the political earthquake

Farewell Barack Obama, David Cameron and Europe: how will this year go down in history?<p>On the evening of 8 November, the world gathered in front of TV screens for the news. In the early hours of 9 November, it began to dawn on us that what we were watching was no longer news but history. Not since …

Boris Johnson

Obama's legacy: the promises, shortcomings and fights to come

A verdict on the president’s major achievements across eight pivotal years in the White House, from a panel of Guardian US writers<p>In Chicago’s Grant Park, after winning the presidential election on 4 November 2008, Barack Obama looked out at the faces of some of the estimated 240,000 people who had …

Gun Control

Populism as a Backlash against Globalization - Historical Perspectives

The share of income going to the top one percent of earners is back up from below 8 percent of total income in 1970 to above 20 percent of total …

Economics

This Is What Happens When Millions Of People Suddenly Get The Internet

Less than 1% of Myanmar had internet access until 2014. Now the country is getting online at an astonishing rate — but so is fake news and anti-Muslim sentiment. Sheera Frenkel finds out what happens when everyone you know joins Facebook at the same time.<p>YANGON, Myanmar — The internet brought …

There’s no way around it: Donald Trump looks like a disaster for the planet

This is happening. Donald Trump is going to be president of the United States.<p>And there’s no way around it: What he’s planning to do looks like a disaster for the planet (and the people on it). Specifically, all the fragile progress the world has made on global warming over the past eight years is …

Climate

White riot - Vox

How racism and immigration gave us Trump, Brexit, and a whole new kind of politics<p>Today, Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. But the story of how he managed to become the most powerful man in the world — why Americans were drawn to someone with authoritarian tendencies …

Society

How the education gap is tearing politics apart

In the year of Trump and Brexit, education has become the greatest divide of all – splitting voters into two increasingly hostile camps. But don’t assume this is simply a clash between the ignorant and the enlightened<p>On 23 February, Donald Trump stood before a rally of cheering supporters to …

Political Science

Cyber attack: hackers 'weaponised' everyday devices with malware

Hundreds of thousands of devices such as webcams and DVRs were infected with malicious code to create a so-called ‘botnet’ to target leading sites<p>The huge attack on global internet access, which blocked some of the world’s most popular websites, is believed to have been unleashed by hackers using …

Cybersecurity

Trump in Exile

It is a cliché, of course, to claim that a presidential election is the most important in living memory. But we arrived at that point in the 2016 …

Donald Trump

Narcissists Are Lonely Little Creatures

The presidential rise of Donald Trump has thrust Wendy Behary’s field into the national spotlight: She’s the author of <i>Disarming the Narcissist:</i> …

The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists - Vox

Science is in big trouble. Or so we’re told.<p>In the past several years, many scientists have become afflicted with a serious case of doubt — doubt in the very institution of science.<p>Explore the biggest challenges facing science, and how we can fix them:<p>Academia has a huge money problem<br>• Too many …

Social Sciences

Time Might Only Exist in Your Head. And Everyone Else's

Past. Present. Future.<p>In physics, they are all the same thing. But to you, me, and everyone else, time moves in one direction: from expectation, …